Praying for the health service

As part of a diocesan resource to help people pray this St Luke’s tide for the health service, I’ve written these propers for a eucharist (although some of them can obviously be used outside the context of eucharistic worship). I thought I’d post below a slightly edited version here for others also to use as they wish. The full resource is available from our diocesan website. I’m assuming people will use the collect of St Luke’s day.

Prayers of Penitence

Lord Jesus, you came as the good physician
to those in need of a doctor.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

You underwent the labours of the cross,
that you might bring the new creation to birth.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

You give yourself to your people:
the true medicine of immortality.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.


Liberating God,
you call your church to the service of your Son,
in bringing good news to the poor,
health to the sick, and reconciliation to the sinful.
Hear our prayers especially today
for all who offer chaplaincy in the Health Service,
that they may support the stressed,
comfort the suffering,
and speak up for those whose voices are unheard.
Lord, in your mercy …

Giver of Wisdom,
pour out your gifts on the decision makers of our society,
and especially on the politicians, civil servants
and managers of the health service.
May they be imaginative in their thinking,
creative in their planning,
and compassionate in their administration and care,
nurturing the talents and well-being of all staff,
and serving the needs of their patients.
Lord, in your mercy …

Lover of humanity,
you call your people to be their brother’s and sister’s keepers.
Hear us as we pray for our local hospital(s), care homes,
general practices and community services.
We give you thanks for all who serve in them.
Help those who can to take responsibility
for their own and their neighbour’s needs,
and bless all who harness the good will and help of volunteers.
Lord, in your mercy …

Good Physician,
we thank you for all whom you bless with your gifts
of compassion, knowledge and healing skills,
especially the doctors, nurses, therapists,
and support staff of the health service.
Be with them in all that they do,
that they may be your channels of healing to those who suffer,
and themselves find strength, support and encouragement
from those they serve.
Lord, in your mercy …

Compassionate God,
we hold before you all those in need of healing, comfort and encouragement, especially those who have asked for our prayers …
calm the anxious mind,
bring balm to the depressed spirit,
and strengthen the weakened body,
that all who suffer, in body, mind and spirit,
may know your healing presence surrounding and holding them.
Lord, in your mercy …

Living God,
teach us to know and accept the limitations of our mortality,
that we do not burden others with unreasonable expectations,
but live content with the many gifts we have received,
and come at last to greet sister death
as the companion who leads us into your greater life
through him who died for us that we might live with you.
Merciful Father …

Prayer over the gifts

Good shepherd of your people,
you prepare a table at which all may feast,
and the cup of your kindness overflows:
by this eucharist we offer,
may we learn to share more generously
in your ministry of healing and compassion;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Proper Preface

It is indeed right and good
that we should give you praise, thanks and glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is the promise of justice and hope,
putting the powerful in their place
and lifting up the lowly.
He came as light and life
to those who sat in darkness
 and the shadow of death,
your revelation to the nations
and glory for your people Israel.
He went about healing and doing good,
and with his death accomplished the world’s salvation.
He sends the Spirit on his people,
that they too may bring good news to the poor,
healing the sick, giving sight to the blind,
and proclaiming the good news of life and joy,
that all creation might hear and rejoice,
as with angels and archangels,
and all the company of heaven, we sing …

(based on themes from St Luke’s Gospel)

Prayer after Communion

God of compassion,
in this eucharist you have renewed our vision of a world made whole.
Transformed by your Spirit,
may we seek the well-being of all creation,
and the good flourishing of humankind,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.